User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 35
  2. Negative: 6 out of 35
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  1. BJJ.
    Sep 24, 2006
    0
    After 20 minutes I gave it up. Difficult to understand the Brit accents, even tho I've been to England many times. Story line was going nowhere. In reading the other reviews, perhaps I'm too plebian to enjoy this.
  2. BillA.
    Feb 5, 2006
    10
    When was the last time you saw a movie where the audience spontaneously clapped at the end? After seeing so many bad movies recently, this was a delight. Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins are great together, and many of the lines are superb! After seeing the movie, we researched the Windmill Theater, and were surprised at the historical accuracy of the story, one with which we were not familiar. When was the last time you saw a movie where the audience spontaneously clapped at the end? After seeing so many bad movies recently, this was a delight. Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins are great together, and many of the lines are superb! After seeing the movie, we researched the Windmill Theater, and were surprised at the historical accuracy of the story, one with which we were not familiar. A funny and moving movie. Expand
  3. GreggD.
    Mar 4, 2006
    8
    A pleasant movie that appealed to both my wife and me. R rated but done in such an elegant way, I would allow my 13 year old daughter to view it.
  4. JaneR.
    Mar 5, 2006
    9
    Wonderful characters and chemistry between the characters. Moving, lovely photography, well scripted. We loved it.
  5. LadyM.
    Feb 17, 2007
    9
    Splendid and very classy film! Great actors and actresses like Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, but the greatest is absolutely Mrs. Thelma Barlow. I love her accent!
  6. NigelP.
    Jan 4, 2006
    9
    Truly superb ! Had me transfixed all the way through. And it wasn't just `cos of the women either !! Brilliant acting but then it would have to be with Dame Judi Dench. Will Young was great as was Bob Hoskins. Wow ! is it me? Or do others agree that there appears to be some great films around at the moment?
  7. MarkB.
    Feb 25, 2006
    7
    The title character is a recently widowed British septugenarian (Judi Dench) who forms a prickly but mutually beneficial partnership with a producer (Bob Hoskins) to run a theatrical vaudeville revue, spicing up both the show and its box office receipts with copious female nudity (apparently permissable onstage at the time as long as the nudes remain PERFECTLY STILL). Then World War II The title character is a recently widowed British septugenarian (Judi Dench) who forms a prickly but mutually beneficial partnership with a producer (Bob Hoskins) to run a theatrical vaudeville revue, spicing up both the show and its box office receipts with copious female nudity (apparently permissable onstage at the time as long as the nudes remain PERFECTLY STILL). Then World War II breaks out, the program becomes not only a major hit but a huge morale-booster for the boys in uniform on both sides of the pond, and you can probably guess at least some of the rest. You also don't need a crystal ball to assume before seeing this that it's the latest example of the Brits Doing Naughty Things (But Don't Worry, It's For A Really, Really Good Reason) subgenre of filmmaking, which also includes Calendar Girls, Saving Grace, Waking Ned Devine and its pioneer and greatest example, 1997's wonderfully endearing The Full Monty. Equally predictable is that this, like most of the above-listed films, is snugly but cagily tailored to the same middlebrow audience that recently gave Barry Manilow his first Number One CD since CDs were invented, thus causing normally nonreligious music writers and columnists to write about Armageddon. More genuinely surprising is that Mrs. Henderson Presents is not only the work of edgy director Stephen Frears (Dirty Pretty Things, High Fidelity, The Grifters) but by far his most conventional and sentimental movie to date. All of the above observations sound like complaints but aren't for one simple reason: it all works. Hoskins and Dench (who received a Best Actress Oscar momination that she probably won't win unless the Witherspoon/ Huffman vote splits squarely down the middle) are a comic dream team: their classic love-hate business (and occasionally personal) relationship may be the kind you only see in the movies, but rarely is it this much fun to watch. Lots of period charm and flavor and some hilarious sequences dealing with the introduction of nudity to the production (and the typically squeamish censorial reactions to it) add to the pleasure, and even when the war strikes home and the movie goes all serious and stiff-upper-lip it takes some genuinely unexpected turns, especially in its observations of how men of all nationalities and time periods view and treat women. (I wasn't expecting to draw even a subtle relationship between the Last Good War military audience here and the Vietnam USO show one in Apocalypse Now, but it's there.) Frears's most interesting artistic decision is to represent the London Blitz with file footage during the show and then switch to a realistic depiction when a personal price is paid; this is effective because he's showing the war having a real, irreversible effect on its characters after being more or less an abstract disturbance. My only real complaint (even though it arises from one of the movie's funniest scenes, and is Necessary To The Plot) is that with all the female nudity, the full-frontal image that remains most stubbornly with me is that of BOB HOSKINS! It's gonna take years of electroshock therapy and Russ Meyer movies to clear THAT puppy out of my mind! Expand
  8. CarolynM.
    Feb 5, 2006
    5
    Dench and Hoskins are wonderful to watch, but the script is pretty lame; why, you ask yourself, was this film made? Even Mrs. Henderson's motive for opening a theatre isn't consistent; she eventually explains that she did it to strike a blow for . . . [the following may spoil the surprise] YOUNG MEN, so they could see NAKED WOMEN before they went off to war??? This is a noble Dench and Hoskins are wonderful to watch, but the script is pretty lame; why, you ask yourself, was this film made? Even Mrs. Henderson's motive for opening a theatre isn't consistent; she eventually explains that she did it to strike a blow for . . . [the following may spoil the surprise] YOUNG MEN, so they could see NAKED WOMEN before they went off to war??? This is a noble cause? Sorry. It just didn't work. Expand
  9. SheilaO.
    May 7, 2006
    10
    Dame Judy Dench was wonderful in this film and Bob Hoskins played well with her. I laughed so much and loved the songs and the nudity was tastefully done.This was nostalgic for me because my father often visited the Windmill theatre,we should have more films like this.I would like the CD of the songs, Loved Will Young he was cool.
  10. CarolR.
    Feb 19, 2007
    9
    A most enjoyable, easy to watch British film production ... a combination of emotions and wonderfully acted by Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Thelma Barlow.
  11. PamalaS.
    Dec 10, 2005
    10
    It's such and fun, thoughtful, and beautiful film.
  12. MichaelB.
    Dec 7, 2005
    10
    A total delight, with a script so exquisitely literate and acting uniformly superb. "Cabaret " meets "Hope and Glory" with "The Full Monty" thrown in!!
  13. BenK.
    Jan 16, 2006
    8
    An odd experience. I was easily the youngest person in the theater. Not that I have anything against old people we were there for different reasons. They were there to see Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, I was there to see nudity. Unfortunately the nudity was tastefully done. As for the film it's one of those stiff-upper-lip things which is to say patriotic without being obnoxious but An odd experience. I was easily the youngest person in the theater. Not that I have anything against old people we were there for different reasons. They were there to see Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, I was there to see nudity. Unfortunately the nudity was tastefully done. As for the film it's one of those stiff-upper-lip things which is to say patriotic without being obnoxious but well played. Expand
  14. mrmijac
    Jan 3, 2006
    10
    A class act!
  15. JayC.
    Feb 11, 2006
    9
    A pure delight. Laughter and tears and the fun interplay between Mrs. H and her manager. I love WWII backgrounds...down to earth.
  16. JimG.
    Feb 19, 2006
    6
    Enjoyable, if formulaic, vehicle for Dame Judy and Mr. Bob. Casting includes lots of great faces full of character.
  17. BTS.
    Feb 7, 2006
    9
    Dench is fabulous. Hoskins is wonderful. Guest nearly, but not quite, steals his scenes from Dench. The nude women are lovely to look at. Will Young sings nicely. Musical numbers, Goody Goody and Babies of the Blitz had me bouncing in my seat. Even the opening credits are terrific fun. The precariousness of life lived in a war zone is demonstrated but this last part of the story felt Dench is fabulous. Hoskins is wonderful. Guest nearly, but not quite, steals his scenes from Dench. The nude women are lovely to look at. Will Young sings nicely. Musical numbers, Goody Goody and Babies of the Blitz had me bouncing in my seat. Even the opening credits are terrific fun. The precariousness of life lived in a war zone is demonstrated but this last part of the story felt rushed, as if the writer looked at his watch and realized he had only 23 minutes in which to cram 45 minutes of story. Otherwise, it was an altogether funny and touching movie and Judi Dench is fabulous. I can't think of the last time I left a movie theater feeling happy I'd been there. Expand
  18. SheilaE.
    May 5, 2006
    10
    I was captivated from beginning to end mostly by Judi Dench's performance, it is true, but by all the rest of the cast, story and especially the dialogue as well.
  19. richardh.
    Dec 31, 2005
    9
    Hard to rate anything a perfect 10, but this movie is simply delightful. It makes me angry to see the carping complainers criticize such a moving, lovingly put-together film. It radiates humanity.
  20. PatG.
    Dec 9, 2005
    10
    Let the fuddy duddies complain if they must! This is a delightful movie that also manages to be touching at times. Judi Dench can do wrong as far as I'm concerned. Just go and enjoy it.
  21. Jan 22, 2015
    3
    Can one performance save an entire film from mediocrity? Judi Dench does her best but even her talent and flair couldn't rescue this movie from entering my long list of films that left me utterly indifferent.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Posh meets prole in this period drama elegantly directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, Prick Up Your Ears).
  2. 88
    It offers a feel-good experience, but without the heavy dose of schmaltz that often accompanies such a production.
  3. An absolute delight from start to finish.